Lean Six Sigma in your company

Although Lean Six Sigma is best known as a project based improvement structure, but it is much broader than that. Lean Six Sigma is an established philosophy, an organizational and improvement structure as well as a set of tools. Using this perspective Lean Six Sigma addresses organizational issues with respect to competitiveness, cost reduction, and customer satisfaction.

Depending on your ambition, Lean Six Sigma can be implemented in phases. Every organization is unique, without a common blueprint that universally applies. Together with you, The Lean Six Sigma Company can develop a plan of action tailored to your organization.

An integrated approach to running a business

Lean Six Sigma helps you strive towards three goals: higher customer satisfaction, lower operating costs and a competitive advantage through high quality. These three goals relate to each other. The basis of Lean Six Sigma is a philosophy, namely fast and flawless work. In technical jargon, it means striving for a one-piece-flow and variation reduction.

In a Lean Six Sigma organization, people deal with process improvement by conducting improvement projects as well as continuously improving daily routine. This requires an organization which understands the methodology. Management plays an important role in Lean Six Sigma’s success. They are the sponsors of the improvement initiatives and are therefore jointly responsible for their success. The sponsors select projects and ensure the elimination of any obstacles so Lean Six Sigma can be applied successfully.

The diagram below shows Lean Six Sigma as an integrated approach to running your business:

The first step: Determine the ambition

Years of experience have shown us that an organization can pursue three levels of ambition when it comes to process improvement. The highest level, ‘Change’, is often called Operational Excellence. Organizations like General Electric (GE) and Toyota are companies that operate at this level. Process Improvement according to the Lean Six Sigma methodology is embedded in the DNA of these organizations. They make no secret of the fact that Lean Six Sigma played a pivotal role in becoming industry leaders.

Another level of ambition is the ‘Improve’ approach. This level of ambition is characterized by selective improvement within the organization. They make the decision to optimize a number of departments, core processes or units using Lean Six Sigma. Often initiated by the departments themselves, without senior management actively getting involved.

The third level of ambition is called ‘Repair’. At this point, Lean Six Sigma is brought in to improve a number of processes. Consultants are hired or certain staff members are trained to improve a limited number of processes.

Determining your level of ambition strongly depends on your available resources and your needs. Every level of ambition has its own implementation path. This path is also strongly dependent on the type of organization. That is why there is no blueprint for implementing Lean Six Sigma. However, The Lean Six Sigma Company can, with your cooperation, definitely give thought to the right approach and route to success

Roles and responsibilities

An organization which applies continuous improvement will have a large number of process ‘enhancers’, who focus on process improvement on a part-time or even full-time basis , in order to keep costs low and increase customer satisfaction. Within a Lean Six Sigma organization, the various roles engage with the five disciplines. The more intensely staff has been trained, the more disciplines he/she can fulfill. Process ‘enhancers’ are necessary at every level. The different roles are listed below: